50 THE QUEENS COURIER • PETS • JULY 19, 2018 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Dogs can catch the fl u? What dog parents need to know
Did you know that humans are not
the only ones who can catch the fl u?
Unfortunately for man’s best friend, dogs
are also susceptible to their own version
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Dog fl u is a year-round illness that can
easily spread from dog to dog, but isn’t
contagious to humans. Spring is a great
time for pet parents to talk to their veterinarians
about vaccinating their dogs
against dog fl u, either for the fi rst time or
for revaccination, because warmer weather
means more time spent outside socializing
with other dogs - and more social
time can increase a dog’s chance of getting
“Dog fl u is highly contagious and we’ve
seen thousands of cases being reported
over the last year,” says Kathryn Primm,
DVM, co-author of the Pet Parent’s
Guide to Infectious Disease of Dogs. “Th e
good news is that it’s also vaccine preventable.
Dogs can be protected against
both strains of dog fl u with a single vaccine.”
To help pet parents across the country,
here are answers to some common questions
pet parents have about dog fl u.
What exactly is dog fl u? Th ere are
two strains of the canine infl uenza virus
- H3N2 and H3N8. H3N2 is relatively
new and is responsible for most of
the recent cases. Common symptoms of
dog fl u include high fever, lethargy, loss
of appetite, cough, runny nose and, in
some cases, pneumonia - which can be
How do dogs get dog fl u? Dog fl u is
highly contagious and can pass between
dogs through virus particles in the air,
physical contact with other
dogs, indirect contact with an
infected dog or contact with a
person who has interacted with
an infected dog. Since dogs have
no natural immunity against
dog fl u, almost all unvaccinated
dogs that come in contact with
the virus will become sick.
Are certain groups of dogs
more susceptible to dog fl u?
Pups that travel with their families
or are frequently in contact
with other dogs at places
like dog parks, doggie daycare,
grooming facilities and boarding
kennels are at increased risk and
should be vaccinated against
both strains of dog fl u.
Why should I get my dog
vaccinated now? Dog fl u is not
seasonal, it is year-round; but
because dogs tend to be more
social in the spring in many
parts of the country, they are
more likely to encounter a contagious
dog. Plus, with summer approaching,
dogs that will be boarded should fi nish
the dog fl u vaccination at least two
weeks before the planned date of boarding.
Dogs vaccinated for the fi rst time
need two vaccinations, two to four weeks
apart. Annual revaccination just requires
Can dogs transmit the fl u to humans?
No. To date, there is no evidence that
humans can catch canine infl uenza virus
Can I vaccinate my dog against both
strains? According to the American
Animal Hospital Association, dogs at risk,
such as those that are boarded at kennels,
attend doggie day care or visit dog parks,
should be vaccinated against both strains
of dog fl u, available in a single vaccine.
Dogs should be vaccinated on an annual
basis to prevent illness or decrease the
severity of symptoms if they do become
sick. To fi nd a vet that carries the dog fl u
vaccination, you can visit dogfl u.com and
search by your zip code.
How long has this vaccine been available?
Bivalent vaccines, which are vaccines
that contain both strains of dog fl u,
were introduced to the market in 2016
and 2017. Millions of dogs have been vaccinated
against dog fl u.
Spring weather is exciting for both pet
parents and their dogs - it means it’s
time to get outside and play. Avoid the
risk of dog fl u by talking to a veterinarian
about vaccination and visiting dogflu.
com to fi nd a veterinarian and schedule
an appointment for a dog fl u vaccination
for your pet.